Zvi Halpern-Shavim
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2355

Zvi's practice involves all areas of sales and commodity tax, with a focus on planning and dispute resolution in connection with VAT, goods and services tax, harmonized sales tax, provincial sales tax, insurance premium tax, excise taxes and duties, and carbon taxes. He also advises clients regarding structuring of import/export arrangements, customs duties, valuation methodology, tariff classification, import/export restrictions, and various aspects of Canada's bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. Zvi provides compliance, planning, audit and tax dispute expertise, both in traditional mergers and acquisitions and real property transactions and in complex and new areas of financial services, natural resources, cross-border, the sharing economy, P3 infrastructure projects, cryptocurrencies, medical, pharmaceutical and agribusiness.


Recent representative matters include advising:

Mergers and Acquisitions
  • The Descartes Systems Group Inc. on its C$330-million agreement to acquire Visual Compliance

  • Superior Plus on its purchase from Gibson Energy ULC of an option to acquire the retail propane business of Canwest Propane and associated divestiture

Financial Services
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia on the sale of the business and assets of Roynat Lease Finance, a division of its subsidiary Roynat Inc., to Meridian Credit Union Limited

  • Canadian Tire Financial Services on a strategic partnership with the Bank of Nova Scotia, including the sale of a 20% interest in its credit card business for C$500-million

  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank on its acquisition of artificial intelligence firm Layer 6 Inc.

Real Property
  • JCF Capital ULC in connection with its acquisition of the former Trump Tower, Toronto, a mixed hotel/residential condominium, and the sale of the hotel portion to InnVest Hotels

  • BluEarth Renewables Inc. in relation to the acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of various solar and wind power projects

Medical/ Pharmaceutical
  • A private equity firm in connection with its acquisition and continuing consolidation of specialist dental and orthodontist practices across Canada

  • Various P3 Project Cos and Project Owners in connection with GST/HST in contractual negotiations, assessments and refunds for public infrastructure and similar projects


Zvi has been recognized for the past five consecutive years as a leading lawyer in International Tax Review's Indirect Tax Leaders, 2015-2019 (currently 8th Edition).

Show Past:
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Author: Canada's Carbon Pricing System Demystified: Taxes vs. Regulatory Charges
The Lawyer's Daily, LexisNexis Canada, May 31, 2019.
Author: Unresolved Issues for Cannabis Excise Duties
Policy Options Magazine, September 5, 2018.
Co-author: Place of Delivery: A Deceptively Complex GST/HST Problem
Sales Tax, Customs & Trade Journal, Federated Press, Vol. XV, No. 2, July 2018.
Blakes Business Class, June 12, 2018.
Canadian Tax Focus, Canadian Tax Foundation, May 2018.
Co-author: Canada: Federal Court authorises CRA to obtain taxpayer information directly from PayPal Canada
International Tax Review, April 2018.
Blakes Bulletin on Cannabis, March 8, 2018.
Blakes Bulletin on Cannabis, March 2, 2018.
Co-author: Chapter 11 - Canada
International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Tax, Global Legal Group, 2018.
Co-author: Bracing Changes: Tax Court Takes a Bite Out of ITC Claims by Orthodontists
Sales Tax, Customs & Trade Journal, Federated Press, Vol. XIV, No. 3, 2017.
Co-author: Searching for a Pot of Gold: Taxing Marijuana in Canada
Sales Tax, Customs & Trade Journal, Federated Press, Vol. XIV, No. 1, 2017.
Co-author: Finance Canada Seeks Comments on New Tax Proposals Regarding Investment Limited Partnership Rules
Canadian Current Tax, Vol. 28, No. 1, October 2017.
Co-author: Indirect Taxes, Canada: Cross-Border Developments
The Professional Journal of Tax Executives Institute, Vol. 69, No. 4, July/August 2017.
Canadian Tax Focus, Canadian Tax Foundation, February 2017.
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Co-presenter: “Cryptocurrency” Workshop
70th Annual Tax Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, November 25, 2018.
Speaker: Tax Executives Institute Dallas Chapter
Annual Canada Tax Luncheon, Dallas, Texas, April 17, 2018.
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Quoted: Budget 2019 Clears the Air on Cannabis Taxes
Article by Anita Balakrishnan, Law Times, Toronto, April 1, 2019.
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